Crawford not far from seeing outfield time

Crawford not far from seeing outfield time

BOSTON -- Red Sox left fielder Carl Crawford had another productive day in extended spring camp on Saturday, belting a home run. He has been used strictly as a designated hitter thus far, but that could change soon.

Crawford will soon fly to Boston so that club doctors can get another look at him.

"If the exam goes well, they're going to ... put him in the outfield, which I'm hoping he can just go in the outfield and underhand it in for a while, and just start playing that way and then get on a throwing program," Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said. "I'm hoping that's the next step."

The reason Crawford isn't playing the outfield yet is because he developed left elbow inflammation a couple of weeks ago. The main malady he is coming back from is left wrist surgery.

Rather than have Crawford jump from affiliate to affiliate, Valentine seems to think the outfielder can be just as productive staying in Florida.

"I guess he could start playing somewhere else and DH," Valentine said. "It's been talked about. We're not sure the necessity of having him move around -- different weather. Right now, he needs to see pitches, get at-bats, get on base and steal those bases -- start getting comfortable in playing the game. I'm not sure we're worried about the competition level. We're worried about his comfort and then his physical [well-being]."